Protection of Private Information Bill - what does this mean for landlords?

In the near future the South African president will be signing the POPI (Protection of Private Information) Bill and this, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, could present South African landlords and managing agents with a real challenge because the bill not only forbids the dissemination of any personal information to another organization or individual but it also regulates the way in which the individual’s data is stored. It insists, in particular, that a high standard of security must be applied on all storage systems and makes it very clear that copying or extracting items in the information from the documents stored by or for the benefit of any third party is prohibited.

“Only the landlord and his agent are allowed to see the information and this has to be strictly related to the lease and the tenant’s ability to meet his obligations.”

“Furthermore, the tenant has, in all cases, to agree to the landlord or agent having or getting this information and can insist that he be given a copy of any information in his file.”

“This applies, if I read the act correctly, to the information which will be gathered from credit bureaux, former employers and former landlords. From the outset the tenant does, of course, have the right to object to this data being collected, but if he does so he is unlikely to be accepted as a tenant.”

Rawson warned that in terms of the new law, virtually every item of information stored is considered personal. Any comments by previous associates, employers or landlords are definitely not for the public’s perusal.

“Any shrewd marketer looking, say, for a section of the public earning a certain income per month or taking part in certain dining, recreational or shopping practices, could often see at once if a new sectional title development was likely to have people in it that fitted his marketing target band based on the price and location of the units. Once the bill has been passed these marketers will no longer be able to obtain information on the residents of these developments legally, as was done in the past. In most cases very little harm was done by passing the individual’s information on to others. Nevertheless, that is now definitely prohibited.”

“In general, therefore, landlords and agents will have to be very careful about what they do with private information going forward.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 Jun 2018
      The rental market in many Johannesburg suburbs has shown encouraging signs of revival this year but it remains a competitive market and landlords who best cater to their market’s needs will reap the healthiest returns.
    • 22 Jun 2018
      Home design is constantly evolving to reflect the changing needs of society. We look at some of the ways in which our use of space is changing.
    • 22 Jun 2018
      While estate agents can help the seller with correctly pricing the property and marketing a property to the right pool of potential buyers, at the end of the day it’s the impression that the property will make on buyers that counts the most.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      Anyone who’s ever been involved in a building project that’s gone wrong will appreciate the importance of adequate insurance cover in the construction industry.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A recent news story about a blind tenant caught in a legal battle with his body corporate over letters and notices he was unable to read and consequently comply with has raised the question: what are the legal obligations for landlords with disabled tenants?
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A trend that’s taken the world by storm in recent years is that of hygge (pronounced: hue-guh), a Danish concept that is about creating intimacy, connecting with loved ones and taking pleasure in small, ordinary things.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      Buying or selling real estate isn’t as easy as it is portrayed sometimes, especially if there is a death of a party during the transaction which can make it awkward, tricky and inconvenient.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      With interest rates remaining at historic lows and banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, first-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain that initial foothold on the property ladder, particularly in the light of the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us